Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The real cost of food wankery

I love trying new foods, I really do. And there are very few things I dislike. Offal, dried meat (beef jerky - what is that even about?), durian... that's about the extent of my no-go list. But I'm seriously annoyed by foods promoted by the burgeoning "wellness" industry as super-foods.

Quinoa, acai berries, kale...or whatever rare organic Himalayan herb is trendy this week. SUPER FOODS, Y'ALL! Whilst I don't mind any of those things, they're no more super than a whole lot of other fruits and veggies. And the bad thing about them is: they're very expensive.

Wellness blogs and newspaper lifestyle pages are shouting the message that if you're not feeding these foods to your family, you're not looking after them properly. You obviously don't care enough. YOU ARE A BAD PARENT/PARTNER/PERSON. Right. Would you like a side of guilt with your white potatoes, supermarket tomatoes and iceberg lettuce?

For a family on a low to moderate income, this stuff is just unaffordable. Personally, I could buy only organic superfoods, but I prefer to spend my hard-earned dollars on living my life, not fretting about whether these (non-organic) apples will give me cancer.

The last straw for me is that these bullshit wanky foods are pushing good old ordinary, AFFORDABLE foods off the shelf. I don't always have time to make coleslaw from scratch, so a bag of shredded cabbage and carrot from the supermarket, dumped into a bowl with a dollop of bought dressing is fine by me. Yesterday, I flew down to our local Coles to grab some. I was confronted by this monstrosity, with a hefty price tag ($15 per kg, as opposed to $8 for the plain old cabbage variety):

WTF, Coles?!!
I scoured the shelves for normal coleslaw, but there was none. There was beetroot coleslaw, which I don't mind, but can't eat because: FODMAPs. And there was something called "coleslaw supreme", which had celery (again FODMAPs) and corn and what-not in it. I bought the supreme in the end, because I refused to buy bloody kale coleslaw just on principle.

I've struck the same problem before at the Coles deli - they now only stock ready-made tabbouleh made from fricken QUINOA. Again, I don't mind quinoa, but I refuse to pay the inflated price.

If products made from kale, quinoa, etc were adding to the choices available to consumers, I'd say "Fine. Let those who have money to burn buy that shit". But the issue is that they are REPLACING affordable alternatives. Boo, supermarkets!

Looks like it's back to making my own coleslaw from now on.



Debstar said...

You don't always have time to make your own coleslaw??!! (much judging...not). I have way more time than you but I really like the dressing and noodles that go in Woolies crunchy salad plus when I make it myself I invariably throw out the left over cabbage that ends up sitting in the back of the fridge for weeks.

Kek said...

Bought salads are the duck's guts for the time-pressed or the lazy. ;)

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